The U.S. lumber market was a bright spot as compared to most other regions of the world in 2015, according to Wood Resources International. As a result of a healthy housing market, lumber consumption was up almost 5% as compared to 2014, and import volumes in 2015 were 10% higher than in the previous year.
The strong domestic market and a weakening Asian market also resulted in less lumber being exported in 2015. Export shipments were down 9.7%, while imports were up 10% from 2014.
Lumber exports from Canada reached an eight-year high in 2015 when sawmills took advantage of the fairly strong U.S. lumber market, which combined with the weak currency, allowed them to ship 9.2% more lumber to the U.S. than in 2014. Shipments to China, on the other hand, fell over 13% to the lowest level since 2010.
In terms of production, the U.S. lumber output totaled 31.962 billion board feet in 2015, up 1.5% from the 2014 total, according to the Western Wood Products Association's "Lumber Track" publication.
Production in the West in 2015 was down 0.7% from 2014, while production in the South was up 3.0%.
Nationwide, December production totaled 2.530 billion feet, up 7.6% from the November figure and 0.2% ahead of the December 2014 total.